Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. You can see some of our designs in our Redbubble shop. We also have a small shop at Etsy.com.

 

Joey Jones is the published author and editor of many newspaper and magazine articles, radio stories, advertisements and commentaries, and has ghostwritten everything from speeches to love letters. She is a past Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting semifinalist and Fade In: Screenwriting Awards quarterfinalist. She also gathers sound and conducts interviews as a freelance field producer in the Sacramento area, and her on-air performance as “The Dying Fish” can be heard in the Water Education commercial series.

Mark Jones makes a living producing radio shows (like Connections on Capital Public Radio’s Music Station). As Martin Jenkins, he’s heard weekday evenings on CapRadio’s four news stations, and Sunday mornings on 91.3FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto. Mark has also sung, acted and directed local theater and TV.

 

We’re about the story. Whether it’s the facts and figures of nonfiction, or the deeper truth of fiction, we want to find just the right words, sounds, and/or images to get it across.

We’re also about the process. “Do the work right, and on time.” Life’s too short to make things harder than they have to be.

 

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Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a good time to reflect on the women who came before us. True, it’s tough to be a woman sometimes (sometimes it’s tough to be a man, but for now, let’s ignore that familiar urge to put everyone else first).  We still don’t earn as much for the same work.

We still get grabbed, catcalled and generally harassed (FYI dude, I don’t care what you think about how I look. I just don’t. Feel free to keep it to yourself). We get “now you can be/do anything!” along with “but you have to be hot, as defined by everyone but you!” I’m old enough to remember Charlie’s Angels, the fictional crimefighters who tottered around in high heels and clingy outfits, flipping their perfect hair while catching bad guys. Tee hee!  Even now, female superheroes dress in glorified swimsuits and cheerleader outfits. We are “empowered” somehow by using our sexuality to beg for approval.  Our own President defines women according to whether or not he’s attracted to them — that’s their value.

Unless you just decide to live life on your own terms and pick your own role models. Go see “Hidden Figures.” Read about the Suffragettes. Remember you are the descendant of women who started new lives in unfamiliar places, raised crops, livestock and kids, and made their way forward step by step. Somewhere in your past is a woman who just did not give up. Probably more than one. And you can be that woman for the generations that come after you. Wearing whatever you damn well please.

Available in our Redbubble.com shop.

 

 

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Why I Fly My Flag (Or Wear My Pin)

As you probably know, I make Safe Harbor pins and give them away. This has been an almost entirely positive experience. I have given them to young people, old people, people of every religion and none, of every color (it seems like I should say “and none” to balance the sentence, but truthfully, there are no colorless people. We’re all some shade of brown from pale tan to burnt umber). I’ve had people hug me, get teary-eyed, get excited… so it’s not the people getting or wearing the pins that are raising dust.

Most people I’ve met while doing this get it. It’s meaningful for them. Still there are a handful of malcontents who say that the Safe Harbor pin is “just a badge of white guilt,” and meaningless. They’re frustrated, angry and scared, so they’re lashing out, and making a big mistake.

No symbol, on its own, solves a problem. That isn’t what symbols do. To quote the Oxford Dictionary, a symbol is “a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.”  Safe Harbor pins are a symbol worn by people who want to act to solve the problems, as a reminder to themselves of their commitment, and a signal to others that they are not alone in the fight. That is the value. They offer a tiny bit of hope and unity in a divided, angry world. Humans have and create symbols because we need them.

When you are low, or feeling threatened and beaten, a kind word is far from meaningless. Seeing someone sporting a rainbow Safe Harbor pin, or any Safe Harbor pin, is a reminder that there are people, people you don’t even know, may never meet, who want you to be safe and well. I know this because I’ve been told just that by people who saw me wearing one, people who were feeling marginalized, as though their human dignity and worth was being questioned.  Of course, there must be actions behind that symbol, and there are. People calling on their elected representatives to act, to make changes. People marching, people gathering to help those in need. They are part of a movement that is just finding its feet. They wear their safety pins with pride, and I am one of them.

No one group is feeling more undervalued or disrespected. Point a direction and you are bound to hit someone who feels isolated and scared, for being female, for being gay, or transgendered, or an immigrant, or… There is good in reminding people that we share a common humanity, common concern for ourselves, our families and friends, our country, our world. That is what the Safe Harbor pin says. “We are both human and in this together.”

I’ve given pins to people who cried, who were at a low point when a kind word meant a lot. And I won’t stop making them. I won’t stop handing them out. I’ve seen the good it does. Symbols matter. Statements matter. They are the flag behind which a movement marches, and without movement, there is no improvement.

I am proud to wear my Safe Harbor pin, proud to give them out, to share encouragement and hope. It is my symbol, not of guilt, but of determination.

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Love Bead Safe Harbor Project Is On!

The Project Is On!

That thing is a finger, I swear. There’s no good time to have your hand slammed in a trunk lid and broken, but there are definitely *worse* times. Like when you’re trying to create 500 Safe Harbor Love Bead Pins.
Even so, the project is going forward. We’ve given away almost 100, and this week, the first “sponsored pins” go in the mail. Someone bought three sets of pins, sponsoring three more to be given away free.

The official GoFundMe is in the works, but as you can imagine, typing is very hard right now, so it’s taking longer. But it’s happening. More Safe Harbor pins are being given away. More hope is being spread. Broken Finger or no.

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Love Beads and Broken Bones

This will have to be short. We were going to make an announcement this weekend regarding our Love Bead Safe Harbor Pin Project… then *wham!,* the storm met an open car trunk door, which met my hand… want the gory details? Didn’t think so. Anyway, I will be okay, eventually.  The Project will go on, but the announcement will be delayed. For now, just know that (1) I’ll be teaching a class on Saturday, June 3 at SCRAP in San Francisco (more at Scrap-SF.org) on how to make Safe Harbor pins, and (2) I’ll be at several locations on Sunday, June 4, and more details to come in a couple of weeks.

Meantime, if you got a Love  Bead Safe Harbor pin from me, or from someone who did and gave away one, as requested, we’d love to hear from you!

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The Love Bead Project

We can all be “Safe Harbors” for the people around us!

I never pictured myself becoming an activist, and certainly never thought of myself and the word “hippie” in the same sentence. When I was in kindergarten, protesters were the people on the news who shouted at everyone, and hippies were the people hanging out in ragged clothes who looked like they  needed a shower.  Suffice it to say that it looked as though the 60s had missed me — I was too busy trying to learn to tie my shoes. Looking back, there were things I did that were very 60s, raising mealworms to feed birds caught in an oil spill, for example. That was the start of a lifetime of volunteering, still I didn’t think of myself as a real child of the 60s.

Then I started hearing from people who were being threatened and harassed. Who were afraid, for themselves, their families, their friends, and I got mad. Normally I’m a cheerful sort, and it takes a lot to get me angry, but more and more, people I knew were being ridiculed and threatened. They felt isolated. Unsafe. Unwanted.

It was about that time that I heard of the Safe Harbor pin, an idea that came to the U.S. from the U.K. Wearing a safety pin was a way of signalling that you were a “safe harbor,” a person who would try to treat someone with respect. I liked the idea and started wearing one. Then word came that white supremacists were co-opting the symbol, wearing plain safety pins. That was offensive, but to whom could I object? Where was the place I could register my complaint?

So I took my pin and “tarted it up, ” decorating it, making it more flashy and flamboyant. “Good luck wearing something like this, asshole!,” I muttered as I added beads and charms.  I posted a photo of that first pin, and heard from people who said they were now going to “tart up” their pins as well. I made more pins, fastened them to old business cards (perfect size), and started carrying a few with me. Whenever someone  liked my pin, I gave him one.  This created some really interesting and enjoyable interactions.

Now, I put two on a card, and ask the recipient to give away one, spreading the hope. I don’t ask where that person comes from, what he believes, what his personal life is like. If he wants to talk and I have time, I’m willing to, but the idea is that I don’t have to approve of someone to offer him encouragement, and he doesn’t have to approve of me to accept it. It’s a simple thing, between two human souls.

I have given away almost 100 pins since December of last year. Now, we’re spreading the hope even further. There’s a class scheduled for June in San Francisco on making Safe Harbor pins, and in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, I’ll be handing out pins in five spots in San Francisco. My goal is to hand out 500 pins.

But making 500 of anything takes time and money. My husband and I have been funding this ourselves so far, but to get to 500, I’ll be running a GoFundMe campaign (more details to come). Donors will receive a set of pins and sponsor a set to be given away. I’d like to give some away to centers helping at-risk youth as well.

While doing this, I’ll be putting my sculpting and other artwork on hold. Like I said, making 500 of anything takes time. Mom used to say that time was the gift so precious, people rarely give it to one another. So that’s part of what I give with the pins, a bit of my time, a piece of my creativity, a morsel of hope — and then hope that person spreads it, too.

More on the GoFundMe to come.

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